For Venice it’s Time to Sink or Swim


Wow – Venice is really something! One world-famous sight after another! And the funny part is that people here look just like me when they put on their long-beaked Carnival masks. They definitely have style!

But Venice also has a dark side, one that really gives me pause:

Because the city is built right into the middle of a lagoon, it gets to experience climate change up close. Over the past century, the sea level here has risen by about 30 centimeters. Flooding takes place more and more frequently. Hundreds of monuments and buildings have already sustained severe damage – what a shame!


Treating the symptoms not the cause

In order to protect their city from drowning, the Venetians have initiated the MOSE project. It consists of 78 mobile gates installed on the sea floor that can be raised by a mechanism using compressed air. The whole thing is insanely expensive for one thing – and for another, it only attempts to treat the symptoms of the problem and not the cause.

If humans don’t drastically reduce worldwide carbon emissions very soon, the sea level will continue to climb – scientists warn that it will rise by up to 1.3 meters until the year 2100. And it’s not just Venice that will be affected, but all of us. I don’t know about you, but I’m not looking forward to having wet feet all the time!

In order to reduce these harmful emissions sustainably, it is especially important to have clean, renewable sources of energy. Whereas coal, oil and gas blast the atmosphere with tons of CO2, wind, solar and hydropower work without negatively affecting climate. Sounds simple – because it is.

I’m sure there are many innovative approaches to getting a handle on climate change across the world – I’ll get right back to my quest. I’ll make sure to update you on what I find!

Stay tuned!

Visual statement of the impact of climate change and rising sea levels on Venice by artist Lorenzo Quinn

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